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Top 10 Tools For Chimney Sweeps

As the leaves begin to fall, many people start to think about getting cozy in front of their fireplaces. This is great news for chimney sweeps! Many of those people will be future customers that plan to have their chimneys serviced.

There are many tools that can be used for chimney sweeping, but you might not know what they are or how they work. 

Don’t worry! We have compiled a guide with the 10 most-used tools for chimney sweeping that might help you.

Why Do We Do Chimney Sweeping?

There are many reasons why your customers might call you to have chimney work done on their homes. But the most common will be to remove creosote buildup by having their chimneys swept. Creosote can inconspicuously build up and lead to chimney fires. This will happen if it is not taken care of properly. 

As your customers use their chimneys, the combustion of the wood they’re burning leads to the creation of a byproduct called creosote. Some of your customers will have fireplaces where the conditions for firewood combustion are far from optimal. Because of this, creosote will start to collect on the walls of their chimneys at a much faster rate. These folks will be giving you a call because their fireplaces are not getting enough of a draft and their fires are burning poorly.

The Top 10 Most Used Tools For Chimney Sweeps

Many tools are used for chimney sweeping, but we have listed down the ten most popular ones. While some tools are fundamental, others depend upon more modern technologies to ease out the job.

  1. Wire Chimney Brush

The wire chimney brush is one of the most commonly used tools by chimney sweeps. These brushes are attached to long handles so they can reach high places. The bristles are different depending on the size of the opening in your customer’s chimney; the smaller the opening, the greater the pressure applied to the bristles.

  1. Polypropylene Brush

This is another type of brush. It’s made of plastic and has bristles that are stiffer than wire brushes and more durable than brass or steel brushes. This type does not have loops in the crevices because it uses a small amount of pressure to clean surfaces quickly.

  1. Smoke Chamber Brush

The smoke chamber brush has a long handle like most other brushes, but it also has some features that are special. The bristles are welded on with heat at the base of them, which makes them stronger. They don’t fall off. It is especially good for getting soot out of the flue, which it is designed to do so.

  1. Canvas Drop Cloth

A canvas drop cloth helps protect an area from soot, dust, and other unwanted particles that could get kicked up while working on a chimney. Using a canvas drop cloth will help you keep your customer’s homes clean while allowing you to walk freely about the area surrounding their fireplace.

  1. Power Sweeping System

There are power sweeping systems that can greatly aid your chimney sweeping efforts. A power sweeping system harnesses the power of electricity to clean the flues of your customer’s chimney. These units can be connected directly to your customer’s outlets, so you won’t need an extra source of energy during cleaning sessions.

  1. Flexible Chimney Cleaning Rod

If you own a flexible chimney cleaning rod with the right fit and length, then you can easily reach all corners of your customer’s chimneys without having to be in their confines. These rods are durable, rust-resistant material and can withstand high temperatures when held against fire for too long.

  1. Chimney Vacuum System

Chimney vacuum systems are usually attached with the flexible chimney rods that we just discussed. These tools send random pulses of electricity into flue walls to break down deposits like creosote and make them easy enough for suctioning up later on. They also come with their safety measures, making them one of the safest tools on this list.

  1. Roof Platforms

Another excellent tool for chimney sweeps is roof platforms. These platforms are either built on or, if they are portable, simply placed on the rooftop of buildings to help sweepers reach higher altitudes without using any kind of ladders or stairs. This tool is beneficial for chimneys located at high-up locations, like church steeples and other tall chimneys whose top cannot be reached by a standard-sized ladder.

  1. Full Face Respirator

The full-face respirator is protective apparel that covers the entire head of its wearer from dangers like heat, sulfur, smoke, etc. If you are looking for something that can protect you from chimney gases, this is the best tool. It is recommended to wear these while sweeping flues with power tools and systems since there might be some side effects due to various chemical reactions inside chimneys.

  1. Chimney Sweep Inspection Camera

An inspection camera is an electronic tool that lets you look into chimneys without physically entering the chimney itself. It comes with a monitor and some additional tools that are needed for the entire process. The video on this screen can be recorded so that you can keep track of any changes over time caused by creosote build-up, bird nests, or other obstructions in your customer’s chimney ducts.

  1. BONUS: Knee Pads

A bonus tool added to our list is the knee pads, which are recommended in chimney sweeping. These are of great use while accessing your chimneys from within enclosures of your houses where you cannot stand with ease. In addition, this tool makes the task easier by allowing you to brace yourself against uneven floor surfaces.

We have another bonus for you! Your customers will inevitably wonder what they can do to maintain their chimneys between visits from your company. Below we have the top 8 maintenance tips for your customers. Place this list on your companies website or print it out as a flyer and your customers will thank you for your next-level customer service!

Top 8 Maintenance Tips for Chimneys

  1. Use Dry Wood Only

Wet wood produces only some smoke and a small amount of heat while completely devoiding the fireplace of its primary use, burning. Using wet wood decreases fire efficiency and can create significant issues like chimney fires and floods. It is advised to use kiln-dried or cured woods as they produce more heat than their unprocessed counterparts.

  1. Make Sure To Burn Dry Wood In A Properly Drafted Fireplace

When we burn dry wood in a properly drafted fireplace, fire and smoke production double. This is because a proper draft allows our chimneys to burn the oxygen necessary for optimal combustion. Without outside air entering into flues, smoke cannot escape from fireplaces, potentially leading to various issues such as creosote build-up and even respiratory problems.

  1. Use Damper for Cutting Off Drafts

If you are thinking of closing off your chimneys for winters, you should know that chimneys can quickly accumulate dangerous gases like methane and carbon dioxide without proper ventilation. For this purpose, it is advised to use damper tools that allow you to close off flue systems during the winter months.

  1. Never Burn Hazardous Substances Like Paper, Cloth, Or Garbage

Burning paper or anything else other than wood in fireplaces is very hazardous because these things do not get burned completely the way wood does. This results in various toxins like carbon monoxide, which are very harmful to humans and animals alike. If you must burn non-combustible things like waste papers, clothes, etc., then make sure to do so only after having a proper fireplace insert.

  1. Make Sure To Vacuum Your Chimney Once Every Two Years

Creosote build-up can be hard to notice and once you can visibly see it, it is too late to operate

Your fireplace safely. Having your chimney vacuumed every two years should be sufficient in preventing the build-up of this dangerous chemical.

  1. Have Your Chimney Flues Inspected By Professionals At Least Once A Year

If you have metal flues, they need cleaning every three years. If you have plastic ones, they can last for more than ten years since their maintenance requirements are shallow due to their material makeup. Metal flues are brittle and are prone to damages caused by temperature changes. They also tend to rust over time, leading to the formation of dangerous carbon monoxide gas in homes.

  1. Have Top Quality Lining Materials Installed In Your Chimneys

Top-quality chimney lining materials mean that these have been made using the latest technological advancements and most modern techniques. You can get metal or clay liners depending on budget and requirements. Having good lining material is an absolute necessity because it will protect your chimneys from rust, thermal expansion, and other kinds of dangers with its long service life.

  1. Always Check For Damage And Cracks In Chimneys

Every part of our homes needs a proper inspection from time to time so that we can keep them in perfect condition without any problems whatsoever. If you find cracks in fireplaces or chimneys, then you should immediately call fire inspection services like chimney sweeps, who can help you in this regard.

Wrapping Up

We hope this guide has given you the information you need for choosing the right tools for maintaining your customer’s chimneys. Using the right tools will lead to efficient work,  excellent results, and higher customer satisfaction. This guide should come in handy this fall season when customers start planning on using their chimneys this year.

The sweeping chimney process is often tedious and dirty, but it’s a necessary service your customers need to make the most of their fireplaces. That’s all for this week’s post! Come back for the latest information on the field service industry!